Malcolm Wilson is elated to be welcoming the reigning FIA World Rally Champion Sebastian Ogier to his M-Sport squad for the 2017 season.
The Frenchman and co-driver Julien Ingrassia were free agents following Volkswagen’s decision to depart the championship at the end of the 2016 season, and M-Sport have announced that Ogier will line-up with Estonian Ott Tänak and his co-driver Martin Järveoja in a strong-looking line-up.
Managing Director Wilson believes the partnership of Ogier and Tänak is the strongest his team have had in a number of years, and he is expecting an exciting season as a result.
“We go to Rallye Monte-Carlo with the number one on the door of the Ford Fiesta WRC and the strongest driver line-up we have had in years,” said Wilson. “To say we’re excited about next season is an understatement.
“We believe that we have produced an exceptional car, and we are in the best possible position ahead of this exciting new era.”
Wilson revealed that getting Ogier on board was a coup for M-Sport, and believes that the Ford Fiesta WRC will give the Frenchman the opportunity to defend his title in 2017.
“I’ve made no secret of how much we wanted to work with Sebastien and Julien, and it is fantastic to welcome them to the team,” said Wilson.
“We have worked extremely hard to secure them, and they believe that the Ford Fiesta WRC is the car with which they can best defend their championship.”
Wilson is also glad that Tänak is back with the team in 2017, and feels the Estonian is not far away from his maiden World Rally victory having come close to triumphing in Poland in 2016.
“With Ott and Martin lining up alongside them, we are in for one hell of a season,” said Wilson. “Ott has had a very impressive year with consistent speed.
“He’s played a major role in the development of the new car, and I’m sure that the elusive first victory isn’t too far away!”